Summary. Retrospect. Review. Conclusion. Rundown. Synopsis.Whatever you want to call it. The most comprehensive blog I can think of after that Epic 16-day Mindanao Challenge.
Before anything else, do read the initial plan, a month before my big trip: Mindanao Php400/day Backpacking Challenge
Barbecue: Php2.00/stick at Butuan City Crossing.
Accommodation: Php 30, found in Cateel, Davao Oriental. I didn’t booked here because I was staying in a friend’s house.
Beverage: Php25 for a half-gallon of Tuba at Samal Island.
Squids: Php30 for 600grams of fresh squids at Gumasa, Glan, Saranggani
Coffee: Php4.00/cup at Mati City. But its not available anymore.
Fare: Php5.00 tricycle at Bislig City, Surigao del Sur
Most Tipid Day: Days 1 (and 4). Thanks to Kuya Avel of GenSantos.com, I would not be able to do this without him.
Fare: Php 200 for the Habal-habal gasoline, road trip from Cateel, Dava to Lingig, Surigao del Sur
Entrance Fee: Montfort Bat Cave, paid Php 60 during the night tour.
Food: Php 65.00 lunch at Butuan City.
Beverage: Php30 for a 350ml of Biasi (sugarcane wine) at Mati City
Accommodation: Php200 at Tagum City
Most Expensive day: Day 15 where I spent Php 711.00. It was a road trip from Davao Oriental to Surigao del Sur to Agusan del Sur to Agusan del Norte and it was tiring.
WORTH VISITING AGAIN- THE BEST
The best white beach: It’s a choice between Gumasa, Glan, Saranggani and Dahican Beach, Mati City and the big “W” goes to Dahican beach, home of the Amihan boys! A mile stretch of unspoiled white sand beach perfect for skimboarding. Add reggae music and you are in paradise.
The most stunning view: The Sleeping Dinosaur, Mati City
Nominees for the best experience during my entire 16-day stay in Mindanao
-Sleeping in my hammock at Gumasa white beach.
-Food-tripping at Gen.Santos City
-Meeting of the Mayors at South Cotabato
-Planting mangroves at Samal Island
-Skimboarding at dahican Beach, Mati City
-Cateel Day tour on a habal-habal
-Relaxing Swim at Enchanted River, Surigao del Sur
Best Experience Ever goes to: Planting 16 mangrove seedlings at the Vanishing Island, Island Garden City of Samal. Its always good to give something back to nature. Plus, I can always go back to Samal Island.
The best treat I had: Mayor Peter Miguel of Koronadal City, booked a pension house for me (MD Square). It’s air-conditioned, clean not to mention the hot-shower bath and fresh towel (Unexpected Treat: Warm Welcome at Koronadal City).
Most Beautiful Island saw: Waniban Island, Mati City, Davao Oriental
Most used thing in my bag: Cellphone- for tweeting, texting and calling “someone.”Other than my mobile phone? Camera.
Most Amazing Waterfalls: Aliwagwag Falls
Nature at its Best: Enchanted River
Most Grandiose Capitol Bldg: A tie between Sultan Kudarat and Davao Oriental.
Most Grandiose City Hall: Hands down, Tagum City. Let’s wait until its finished next year, 2012.
Most hospitable locals: Amihan boys at Dahican Beach. Runner ups: Kuya Avel (Gen.Santos City); Bosing Gerald (Koronadal City); Kuya Rexall & Ate Frances (Samal Island); CIO staff (Tagum City); Kuya Nonoy (Cateel).
FOOD and BEVERAGE
Alcoholic beverages drunk: 1 SanMig Light, 2 Tanduay Ice, 6 shots of Red horse, 1.5 liters of Tuba (Spent Php125 in all of these, most are free)
Pinaka-solb na kain: Lunch buffet at Davao City. See my plate?
Best Soup tasted: Manny’s Balbakua at Koronadal City
Best Coffee sipped: Blugre’s Durian Coffee at Davao City. Thanks again Kim & MJ of LakwatserangBayong.
Just telling what I observed…
Most Annoying Experience: Day 13. When I was trying to retrieve my corrupted photos in an uber bagal internet shop in Cateel biglang nag-brown out. I wasn’t able to blog my Days 12-13 experiences.
Worst Beach Experience: Canibad Beach, Samal Island. You are forever bugged by the owners to pay Php20 when you stay inside their property which is actually for public use because its 20 meter before the shoreline. Not only that, the shore is dirty- a sad reality. I hope the private owners of the beach would do something about that beach.
For Math & Geography Geeks
Number of Cities Visited: 11. Gen.Santos City, Koronadal City, Tacurong City, Davao City, Island Garden City of Samal, Tagum City, Panabo City, Mati City, Bislig City, Bayugan City and Butuan City.
Number of Provinces Visited: 10. South Cotabato, Saranggani, Sultan Kudarat, Davao del Sur, Davao del Norte, Davao Oriental, Compostella Valley, Surigao del Sur, Agusan del Sur, Agusan del Norte.
Rundown of Blog Posts & Daily Expenses:
Day 6- Green: Planted 16 Magrove Seedlings at the Vanishing Island, Samal Island (Php 375) (RECOMMENDED)
Day 7: Samal Island Tour (Php 509)
Day 8: Interviewed by Travel & Living Channel (Php 419) (RECOMMENDED)
Day 10: From City To Paradise (Php 326)
Day 12: Island Hopping at Mati City Coast (Sorry corrupted photos, will publish as soon as I retrieved my photos) (Php165)
Day 13: In Transit From Mati City to Cateel (Php 369)
Day 15: Serenity at Enchanted River (Php 711) (RECOMMENDED)
Total Expenses: Php 5, 797 (or US$ 133.33)
Average Daily Expenses: Php 362.31 (or UD$ 8.33). Which means I have a surplus of around Ph 40.00 (less than a dollar) a day. SUCESSFUL CHALLENGE, huh!
I am successful with my challenge of spending only Php400/day, in fact, I am averaging only Php362.31/day. But I wasn’t able to reach my target of 2,000 Facebook Likes and 1,000 Twitter Followers. It’s okay, I’m not a celebrity naman…hahaha Looking on it from a different perspective, I gained 265 FB likes and 200 Twitter Followers.
But what makes this Challenge Unforgettable is the many friends I gained along the way, people from all walks of life, people of all ages and experiences. Better yet, all of them told me to bring some friends (or the special someone) along next time. Better still, a lot of opportunities are opening right into my eyes.
In all of these blessings, I want to thank the God who made this earth for us to enjoy. BLESS THE LORD O MY SOUL AND ALL THAT IS WITHIN ME. BLESS THE LORD O MY SOUL AND FORGET NOT ALL HIS BENEFITS! (Psalm 103)